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HP Entertainment Games

HP to Offer Custom Compaq Gaming PCs 253

PunkerTFC writes "Announced in the run-up to E3, Hewlett-Packard will offer custom built-to-order gaming machines under the Compaq brand, according to Reuters. The machines will be avalible in June or July and 'offer a range of options with standard, off-the-shelf components.' HP has been selling a Compaq gaming machine on a limited basis through a few select retailers already - apparently, 'Those pilot sales... convinced the company that it could compete in a market where well-known specialty manufacturers like Alienware, Voodoo and Falcon Northwest face increasing competition from mainstream players like Dell Inc'. The X Gaming machines will feature 'a standard chassis from CoolerMaster, known for its work in keeping system noise down while also decreasing heat, and red glowing lights in front and back what will make it stand out in the dark.'"
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HP to Offer Custom Compaq Gaming PCs

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  • Heh. (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:39PM (#9109094)

    If I call up asking for a machine to play Marathon they'll build me a Mac? Sweet!
    • Yeah! I've always needed a box to play Glider. The Windows port always acts wonky and doesn't have an editor.

      Paper airplane action, here I come!
    • Re:Heh. (Score:2, Interesting)

      by dhanes ( 735504 )
      Holy Shit, Marathon!!

      Marathon was the 1st LAN FPS I'd ever played. I worked for Val-Pak DMS (was brought on-board to help with their migration from Mac's to Pc's for business) and we all had Mac's. Someone loaded up Marathon for us and we'd usually stick around after our shift to play for an hour or more (of course, we'd play any chance we'd get during the shift as well :) )

      I can only remember one particular map in detail, it had a central circular platform with multi-level open tunnels running around

  • by James A. O. Joyce ( 777976 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:40PM (#9109109)
    I mean, don't most gamers do all of this already? The only people who might purchase these custom computers would be wannabes, surely? Your average gamer either make does with what he's got or just adapts custom hardware. Besides, there's no fun in a case mod if it comes with the PC.
    • by _pruegel_ ( 581143 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:46PM (#9109175)
      Actually the article does not mention "case mod" at all. HP sells very high end machines to consumers and might be able to do so at a good price due to large volume. I don't think that the average gamer is also a hardware technician.
    • Hold on.

      At the moment, those with case mods are the people who know how to mod their machines, and actually know a little. They do it partly for the kudos, but also for the fun.

      But I can just imagine your standard 1337 gamer wanting to have a console looking like that, but unable to do so. And some of them, many of them, would pay for the priveledge.

      So no, although those currently who have mods, won't buy this thing, there is probably a market who will, who haven't been able to get modded machines before.
    • by Woogiemonger ( 628172 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:51PM (#9109228)
      I mean, don't most gamers do all of this already? The only people who might purchase these custom computers would be wannabes, surely? Your average gamer either make does with what he's got or just adapts custom hardware. Besides, there's no fun in a case mod if it comes with the PC.

      While this is all true, it's nice once in a while to have a computer under warranty, with the components rigorously tested and certified to work well together. I'd often get add-on components and realize the power supply wasn't able to support new gaming hardware, or the new component turned out to be excessively noisy. There's a lot of gamers out there who would prefer to spend the time playing games rather than mucking about with worrying about such factors with the hardware.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:43PM (#9109794)

        RE: with the components rigorously tested and certified to work well together

        We are talking about HP here..... The consumer PC lines don't test crap before then send them out....

        I was one of the lead resource technicians for the HP Pavilion line for 3 years (97-2000)... and I stopped counting how many times they put out a machine that wouldn't work properly with alot of the consumer level scanners and printers out of the box....

        HP's compatibility testing for consumer products is NON-EXISTANT
      • by zerocool^ ( 112121 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:44PM (#9109804) Homepage Journal
        I couldn't agree more.

        I haven't bought a completely new computer for my main box since 1999. I've been upgrading this and that here and there, and everything on the machine has as of now been swapped out (450Mhz K6II -> 800Mhz PIII -> 1800+ AMD XP). However, it's starting to get to the point where I really want a machine where all the parts are of the same computing era, and are under warranty. So I've been looking at a new system built by monarch, with a 3 year extended parts/labor warranty. It's honestly appealing. And it's not devoid entirely of nerdishness - I am going to select every part on the list...

        By the way... The cause for my want to upgrade w/ warranty is the death of my 1 year old video card. Buyer beware: PNY "Lifetime Warranty" = Shelf Lifetime of product = for computer parts, rarely longer than 8 months. Plus receipt required (why? it's obviously a PNY).

        Anyway, Warranties are ranking as the number 1 reason for not building it yourself, at least in my mind.

        • Then why don't you take the money you have now and build a kick-ass system?

          I had a system that was pretty similar to yours, a 750MHz AMD Athlon Thunderbird. It was pretty fast, but didn't multitask well. So all at once, I bought parts to build a new system. With all I'd learned from my previous experiences, I was able to build one that was extremely reliable. I bought an ASUS motherboard (Very Important!) a P4 (though if I bought one now you can bet it would be an AMD64 of some variety), a gig of dual-cha

      • it's nice once in a while to have a computer under warranty, with the components rigorously tested and certified to work well together

        And you want this from HP/Compaq?
      • While this is all true, it's nice once in a while to have a computer under warranty, with the components rigorously tested and certified to work well together

        You won't be wanting a Compaq then. My last PC at work was a Compaq, and the whole batch were shite. The onboard audio was noisy, the GeForce was stuck permanently in PCI mode and the CD and floppy drives were suspect.

        Personally, I'd never buy another Compaq, but then excepting my first PC and the one I bought my gf, I've built all mine anyway.
        • by borgboy ( 218060 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @04:30PM (#9110346)
          My last work rig was a Compaq dual 733 P3 which at the time rocked. One of the other devs in the office had a problem and a tech was onsite the next day to replace the motherboard.

          My current rig is a HP xw8000. Same joy. The #2 HDD - a Seagate 10k 70GB cuda - died. Hardly HPs fault. Called support. Part arrived next day with return ship label.

          Yes - there are plenty of crap machines with the HP or Compaq moniker. They do make good high end workstations, though, and a gamer PC is much more like a workstation than a celeron secretary special.
    • Definately, the mystique of a case mod is made completely lame by factory installation.

      After-all, mod = modify. If it was just the windows, lights and custom fans that made case mods cool, then we'd call them case accessories, or some-other innane term.

      However, there are plenty of die-hard gamers who have no clue as to what to do inside their computers. These folks buy 'gaming PCs'. Of course, the popular ones don't include pre-fab 'case mods', just seats for where case-mods could go.

    • by TomorrowPlusX ( 571956 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:23PM (#9109550)
      I don't mean to sound like an ass, but, it seems the great overarching movement of western culture has been to make available the image of "uniqueness" to anybody willing to pay for it. And I'm not talking about paying more for quality -- that's commendable ( disclaimer, I own an Apple laptop ). I'm talking about paying someone for a product that's meant to look "custom".

      Well, I could be wrong, but a few years ago I said: "I don't think anybody will buy a Chrysler PT Cruiser. The kind of person who wants something like that will make one ( e.g., like a hot-rod ) from an old panel truck."

      Boy, was I wrong.
    • Going to the local computer shops all I see these days are windowed cases, blue led's, transparent fans with blue leds, lighting kits, etc... Stores are filling up their stock with this crap rather than any real hardware. Most of the customers are gamers besides for their business customers. Most home users are gamers, or don't upgrade/buy new comptuers or they have a dell/compaq/hp/etc...

      All they are going todo is take business away from the small shops.

      Your right its all wannabes! There are atleast 10 w
  • Red lights! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:41PM (#9109113)
    red glowing lights in front and back what will make it stand out in the dark... and make it run faster!
  • by Schlemphfer ( 556732 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:42PM (#9109127) Homepage
    Way back when HP and Compaq merged, the decision was made that HP's would be the higher end product, and Compaqs would be marketed toward the low-end.

    So it's odd to see them choose their cheaper brand to be their game box, since game boxes are by definition amped up versions of regular machines.

    Maybe they just think Compaq sounds a lot cooler than Hewlett-Packard.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:43PM (#9109151)
      Well, it does have that quirky 'q' at the end without a 'u' after it. I don't think the name would be so neat if it were Compaqu.
    • by UserChrisCanter4 ( 464072 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:56PM (#9109284)
      I honestly couldn't point to the source that says this, but I remember them ultimately deciding that Compaq would be reintroduced as their "enthusiasts" brand, for people who tinkered a bit more with their PCs and demanded a bit more hardware (video editing folks, gamers, the guy who needs the new chip because it's new).

      I suppose some market survey showed that Compaq owners did this more often than HP owners, or that people who were a bit more into hardware specs looked more favorably on the compaq name.

      Toward the end of Compaq's stand-alone life, they were actually using some nice, deskpro-derived towers and were one of the first big-name companies to embrace the Athlon processor in their higher-range consumer equipment. They were also a big supporter of the Athlon/DDR combo during the P4A days when the only non-RDRAM chipset from intel supported PC133 SDRAM. Both of those things would indicate that, at least from a strategy standpoint, Compaq might have counted on their customers being slightly more informed on the hardware side of things than otherwise. Or it might just have been a gamble, who knows?

      Again, I swear the first point about the enthusiast brand was from one of their official statements post-merger, where they started talking about what lines from each company would be dropped. Given those sorts of examples, though, I don't think it's too terribly far fetched.

      • As someone who worked on both HP's and Compaqs in the period 1999-2002 - what I remember of them was that HPs took a coon's age to get into. There were multiple screws, sometimes you had to take the bay enclosure out or the powersupply out just to get inside the case. Often, it took 30 minutes to add ram to an HP.
        Compaqs on the other hand (especially the ones with the blue swirly fronts) were great. The side popped of, the power supply was to the north of the motherboard instead of in the way, it was eas
    • Actually it was more like this:

      x86 platform = All Compaq gear, HP would continue selling HP brand workstations to stores for contract obligations

      unix platform = HPUX is the only one, Dec VMS dead

      printers = HP is the only one, Compaq lexmark deal would not be

      Compaq always had a superior x86 line than HP. True HP would sell higher-end products, but only in the enterprise space. No matter how smoking fast & high-end this end user product is, it is still an end user product.
  • Fine for the kids (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:42PM (#9109130)
    But any l33t gamer wouldn't be caught dead with one of these. I have the feeling these won't sell all that well.
  • X, X, X!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daemongar ( 176180 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:42PM (#9109131) Homepage
    For crying out loud if I hear of another X-machine, I'll go crazy! Are the nations game players, nerds, and marketers in such an uncreative funk that they can't think of anything more than putting an X on everything and therby making it "radical" or eXtreme?

    This country sucks!
  • by tbase ( 666607 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:42PM (#9109135)
    ...and be done with it.
  • Red lights (Score:5, Funny)

    by Radi-0-head ( 261712 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:42PM (#9109137)
    Red glowing lights? Must... buy... NOW...

    Can't... resist... red glowing lights...
  • commercials... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by The Lynxpro ( 657990 ) <lynxpro AT gmail DOT com> on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:43PM (#9109138)

    But will they [HP] top AlienWare's commercial that airs on TechTV?

    All HP has to do is throw in an AMD Athlon64 into the machine and they'll top *Dull* (err, Dell) since Dell is an Intel-only screwdriver operation, for now.

    Speaking of Dell, has anyone seen the commericals to the NetFlix competitor starring the former *Dell Dude*?

  • Umm... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    ...red glowing lights in front and back what will make it stand out in the dark.
    In case you lose it in a forest at night?
  • red glowing lights in front and back what will make it stand out in the dark.

    For those truly l33t gamer/night joggers. You really aren't an extreme gamer until you've hit the wall at the 30th mile at 3:00 am while fragging.

  • by ItMustBeEsoteric ( 732632 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .treblignayr.> on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:45PM (#9109163)
    The Best Buy semi-local to me has them (in Toledo, OH). While I admit the case is cool (shiny polished aluminum), and definitely looks better than the Dell XPS or the hideous Alienwares, it was overpriced as is to be expected. It was almost as much as the Alienware they had (this was a few months ago).

    Now, gamers who buy these gaming systems rather than building their own rigs go a lot for cool factor, name-brand recognition, and bragging rights. I think the fact that it's a Compaq may hurt this.

    "Yeah, I have an Alienware Area-51"
    "Sweet, I just got a Dell XPS laptop."
    "Yeah, well, I got a Compaq gaming tower!"

    See what I mean?
  • A Compaq with standard, off-the-shelf components? Wow, it will be like before the company was ruined by HP's love of crappy part integration [hp.com]!!
    • A Compaq with standard, off-the-shelf components? Wow, it will be like before the company was ruined by HP's love of crappy part integration !!

      Err come again? My first PC was a Compaq years before they merged with HP. They used proprietary parts back then. Proprietary sound card, motherboard, video card, and "psuedo-winmodem" (not an actual winmodem but used special drivers and didn't use the Hayes command set). Hell the only off-the-shelf product as I recall was the WD HD. In spite of this I did mana

      • The worst was the silver-plated DIMMs. They cost 50% more and if you put a tin DIMM on the board, you had a good chance of messing up the board.
  • Hopeless. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trespass ( 225077 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:47PM (#9109181) Homepage
    HP has worked tirelessly for the last five years to ensure that their consumer PCs are some of the most unreliable, poorly-supported pieces of Wal-Mart level junk on the market. I should know, I used to sell the damn things. Emachines were actual more reliable for most of the 3-year stint I worked at Orifice Depot. HP has done everything possible to drain any remaining residues of consumer goodwill left. Between not having mobo drivers for many of their PCs available at all, not even shipping a restore CD with their retail machines, and... oh hell I could go on.

    Enthusiasts won't pay these prices for a machine from HP. They should at least do like Sony, and pretend to be a different company for their better products.
    • Re:Hopeless. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JediTrainer ( 314273 )
      FYI their servers don't impress me either.

      At work my whole team's been given Compaq desktops, and we're now upgraded to these 'low-profile' machines that are making the rounds.

      Both models have had serious issues. Out of four, we've had one die with a motherboard failure and a second with a dead hard drive. The graphics chip (Intel) in it is crap (or perhaps the drivers are), for it hard locks the machine sometimes while the screensaver is on.

      As for the servers (Compaq DL360) and the racks they sit in,
  • Build yer own (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hecubas ( 21451 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:49PM (#9109202)
    If you have the time, I highly recommend builing your own. Check out some of the popular tech sites and read the reviews.

    A hot gaming system nowadays mostly consists of a $300 video card and whatever hardware will support it. Get the a AMD 64bit chip, a good mobo (Abit, Asus, etc.), some fast RAM (Corsair, etc) and your looking at a system under $1500 that will kick the snot out of their proposed $3K system.
    • I find the best buy is usually a compromise. Buy yourself a decent office machine and then add in more ram and a real video card, and maybe an old SB Live Value for surround sound. Except for these sleek riced-out gaming boxes like the Compaqs in question, building from parts is usually much more expensive than finding a whole machine with most of the gear you want. A decent DELL is like $400 and you get the l33t Dell case. Just put in some real RAM, a burner, and a new AGP card.
      • Except the first time you want to start upgrading you'll most likely run into problems. Not enough PCI slots, propriatary RAM, no free space for an extra HD, no room for DVD, etc. Plus all the craptacular, never updated drivers for the cheap components that surely will be used.

        The only way to ensure great performance and longevity of your PC investment is to build your own. Even if you spend the same amount of money, you will get quality components that will run circles around the OEM machine.

        • Funny, the one I've got has none of those problems. The slots were all there. Poorly stocked (onboard sound, 128 megs ram, etc) but all there. My upgrade path was new ram (up to 384), new video card (radeon 9600) and putting in my old CDR drive. Then my dad got me a new HDD for xmas. Still plenty of PCI slots, still plenty of drive bays, and still plenty of ram slots, and the ram is normal DDR.

          Yeah, it was no hot box, but it works well and was very cheap to build, while I know people who've paid twice
      • Re:Build yer own (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Zathrus ( 232140 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:35PM (#9109709) Homepage
        A decent DELL is like $400 and you get the l33t Dell case. Just put in some real RAM, a burner, and a new AGP card.

        Er... show me a $400 Dell that's worth upgrading only the RAM, video, and optical drive. At that price you're looking at low-end Celeron units w/ 128MB of memory and built-in video. It's probably cheaper than what I could put together from parts, but my parts will be of considerably higher quality.

        As per you, to get that Dell up to speed you'll need to buy a new video card ($130), burner ($80), and memory ($250). Total cost at this point is $910.

        Or you can, for $115 more, have an Athlon64 3000+, quiet HSF (Zalman), top end motherboard, an 8-in-1 reader, vastly improved sound quality, faster memory, firewire, more USB ports, no issues with integrated video, a better motherboard, and probably some other stuff I forgot.

        Two weeks ago I bought, for $750 shipped, a case w/ 420W PSU, Athlon64 3000+, Zalman HSF, Chaintech ZNF3-150 MB, 1 GB DDR-400 memory, and a DVD+/-RW 8x burner. Toss in another $270 for a HD, video, monitor, keyboard, and mouse and you have a respectible gaming machine. You can quibble with the video card, but it's the same price for either machine to improve it. Except that a higher end video card will rapidly outstrip the Celeron 2400 CPU in the Dell... not so with the Ath64 3000+.

        To get a roughly equivalent system from Dell, BTW, is around $2000. If you strip it down and buy the parts you suggest OEM then it still around $1500. Oh, and my case is quite a bit nicer than the one from Dell.
    • A hot gaming system nowadays mostly consists of a $300 video card and whatever hardware will support it. Get the a AMD 64bit chip, a good mobo (Abit, Asus, etc.), some fast RAM (Corsair, etc) and your looking at a system under $1500 that will kick the snot out of their proposed $3K system.

      Don't forget the (at least -- if you can manage to get an OEM license) Microsoft tax of at least $100-$120 for an OEM copy of Windows XP Pro. Or $260-$300 if you need to buy it retail. I don't know any self-respecting

    • And expect to spend a lot of time doing your own support. This includes troubleshooting hardware issues, shipping out your own hardware for warranty requests, and waiting with no machine until they return.

      Seriously...unless you really need to save money (e.g., you're in school), you probably want to buy your PC. These days, you don't save ALL that much money, and most of these systems come with 3 to 5 year warranties. If you don't care about brushed aluminum and red LEDs, you can plunk a $300 video card
      • Own Support (Score:3, Insightful)

        by vwjeff ( 709903 )
        And expect to spend a lot of time doing your own support. This includes troubleshooting hardware issues, shipping out your own hardware for warranty requests, and waiting with no machine until they return.

        I build systems for myself and often for family and friends. When my parents needed a new computer and I was at college I suggested getting a Dell. Big mistake.

        According to my parents the computer worked fine for a few days but then they heard a clicking noise when the computer was turned on. Of cou
        • Actually, the moral is "dude, don't get a Dell." Their phone support sucks.

          The key is the term "on site." That means somebody will come to your house when it breaks. This person is NOT an Indian. They are a trained technician. You pay extra for this service, but it is worth it. "Free phone support" is an anagram for "Compelte waste of time."
      • Sounds like someone has had a bad experience or two :(

        Personally, I'll never purchase a prebuilt desktop again. I put together my own last year, and it's worked awesome. I've never had a hardware problem (I did do a ton of research though - it certainly payed off), and the worst of my software issues was a M$ "security update" that made windows refuse to boot (Safe Mode and System Restore saved my ass on that one). Otherwise it was pretty simple. Putting together the hardware was a snap (almost literally)
    • I was looking on monarch computer just this weekend, and here's what I came up with:

      Antec "Piano Quiet" case
      2 x Enermax 120mm adjustable speed fans
      MSI Motherboard NForce2 Audio/Lan/SATA/Dual Chan DDR400
      AMD XP 3200+ Barton 640K 400Mhz FSB
      ThermalTake Heatsink/fan
      2 x 512MB Corsair Mid-grade DDR400 RAM (1GB Total)
      ATI (ati brand) Radeon 9800 XT 256MB 8xAGP
      SoundBlaster Audigy OEM
      w/ 3 year warranty parts/labor
      w/ assembly cost included

      Comes to about $1500. Less than their machine, I'm sure, and probably able to
  • by penguinoid ( 724646 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:49PM (#9109206) Homepage Journal
    If I can buy it with my choice of video card, ethernet card, etc, I might buy this. If instead they try to make this a Dell lock-up, or it is overpriced, then I will happily build my own box.
  • by quarkoid ( 26884 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:50PM (#9109214) Homepage
    Perhaps foolishly, I'll assume for the moment that most people who play the kind of games which need specialist kit are the kind of people who know what kind of specialist kit they need. If they know what kit they need, the chances are that they'll know where to buy it cheaply. I'll also assume that the kind of people who want specialist kit (which, another assumption, would be bleeding edge) will be the kind of people who're likely to upgrade those individual components in need of a little more ooomph. If they're the kind of person who does their own upgrades, won't they just buy the bits themselves?

    OK, OK, a lot of assumptions, but what I'm trying to say is that I can't imagine that this'll be popular with real gamers.

    So, if this service is not going to be used by real gamers, who will order a specialist games PC? Probably the kind of numpty who would order a PC from the likes of HP/Dell/Whatever anyway. If this is the case, then we're not talking about news of earth-shattering importance. It's just a manufacturer introducing a new range to try to grab new market share. Just like soap powder manufacturers introducing a new powder to try to grab more market share.


    Move along, there's nothing to see....

    • It's just a manufacturer introducing a new range to try to grab new market share. Just like soap powder manufacturers introducing a new powder to try to grab more market share.

      What you're missing is that this a mainstream manufacturer seeing gaming as a big business opportunity. Obviously they're not the first, but it's another example of how gaming has become a part of mainstream cultrue.
  • by brxndxn ( 461473 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:50PM (#9109219)
    There's the gamer nerd. Gamer nerd builds his computer and tweaks the hell out of it. It never runs at the specified bus speed, voltage, and it never crashes. The graphics card is overclocked along with every other component in the computer.

    Then, there's the gamer dork. Gamer dork spends $2000 extra for an Alienware. He brags to his friends about how awesome it is. Then, he screws it up with spyware and it runs slow. Then, he pays Gamer Nerd $50 and a 12-pack to fix it.

    Perhaps if Compaq offered a real savings over building the computer yourself, Gamer Nerd will be interested in it. However, Gamer Nerd quickly sees that $2000 of the price of the computer is for unneeded software, brand name, and unneeded support.
  • I would be dramatically more likely to consider a PC sold under the HP brand than the Compaq brand, if I didn't understand that they were the same company now. Every compaq machine I have ever used and/or owned was crap except my laptop (Presario 1692) which was passable. By contrast, some of the HP Kayak machines were very nice, and most of the Vectras weren't all that bad.
  • by foidulus ( 743482 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:53PM (#9109251)
    All it needs now are some "speed holes"
  • I can't figure out if I should buy a package, like this HP deal or a Dell machine, or build a system myself. I'm reasonably technically adept, just not with PC's (my machines are heavily modified, and I've done hw and sw troubleshooting for 15 years on macs). I'm just getting a PC for games, because my MDD G4 is fine for the Photoshop/Illustrator work that's my bread and butter.

    So... does someone have a guide to picking components for a game machine? What are the dangers?

    Would it make sense to plop down t
  • Markworth is wrong. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by abb3w ( 696381 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @02:56PM (#9109282) Journal
    "Credibility is something you only earn over time"

    Nope. You also can lose it over time, which HP and Compaq are notorious for. At this point, I trust the HP mid-to-high-end laser printers... and nothing else they make. I used to swear by HP scanners and calculators, but almost everything they make is going downhill in ergonomics and durability, even when the performance isn't crap to begin with.
  • While HP's name is not the first on the mind of gaming enthusiasts today, Markworth said the company's long history will be its advantage as it enters the market.

    "Credibility is something you only earn over time," he said. "HP with its Compaq brand has a huge advantage in stepping in as a newer player."

    No, it doesn't.

    • Actually, I think they're (sort of) right about this, at least in a mass-market credibility sense. Obviously Joe Slashdot or anyone used to building their own machines is a different market.

      For the relatively technically uninitiated, though, I think it might be a different story. They don't necessarily know about the reliability issues I'm seeing people post about here. What they do know is that HP/Compaq are brands that they've heard of and recognize. These are brands that they expect will be around
      • Yup! A "gamer" is just a person who wants to spend the bucks to play a game! This would not be my path, but if this shaves a little off of the price of something similar to an Alienware, while allowing people to drive downtown to buy one vs. waiting a week for shipping, then this is a good thing!
  • DVD+R in HP machines (Score:2, Informative)

    by achacha ( 139424 )
    If only they would stop pushing DVD+R down everyone's throat, it's the least compatible format and the only one HP offers with their machines.
    • Agreed, from a customer perspective it would be much better if it supported - and + media. I've had a few calls where people had bought - media and I've had to tell them it's incompatible.
  • Call me crazy... (Score:3, Informative)

    by Otto ( 17870 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:05PM (#9109375) Homepage Journal
    But I want a gaming rig that will smoke the hell out of other people with it's blazingly fast processor power, not it's stylish looks.

    Looks are fine, and I got nothing against case modding. Hell, I painted my Pentium 100 PC's case neon orange back in 1995 or 1996, before weird cases became popular. That's beside the point. A gaming rig is meant for high powered, speed processing for lightning fast 3d gaming. Anything else is just extraneous.

    And a pre-bought modded case, stamped out on a line, kinda strikes me as lame as hell. The point of case modding is to make something impressive. Seeing 100 copies of the same thing is no longer impressive. Okay, I might buy parts and mod it, or I might buy a modded case and put it together with some of my own addons, or I might even have somebody else do a custom paint job for me because I lack that kind of expertise or artistic ability... but these are more timesavers than anything else. Buying a whole pre-modded system out of a catalog is just silly and not l33t. :-P
  • by xutopia ( 469129 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:06PM (#9109378) Homepage
    but isn't it ridiculous to continue using the compaq brand name? What is so different from Compaq and HP machines? We all know that a Compaq machine is an HP one. Am I missing something or am I the only one who finds that this just doesn't make much sense?
  • Got one (Score:2, Interesting)

    by simontek2 ( 523795 )
    Actually, We have one. Its the Compaq X07 Its a nice machine, specs Intel P4 3.0Ghz 800MHZ Nvidia 5950 256mb 120Gig seagate SATA 512mb DDR 400 Dual Channel Coolermaster Wave case all in one reader. 4X DVD+R Creative Labs Audigy2 Platium The case is alumium, and slide out mobo. Makes it almost a dream to work on. The only thing Compaq is the Keyboard, mouse and badge on the computer. Which was replaced immediatly. We like running it in Linux, and occasionally use the winxp pro it came with.
  • by Laetor ( 718839 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:11PM (#9109439)
    All these posts are missing something...logic. These companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars seeking markets and figuring out customer segmentation. You all actually think they don't know that truly elite gamers build their own systems? This market is a tiny friggin' niche in the greater scheme of things. "Gamers" does not equal "l33t". Gamers = PC enthusiasts who also probably own Xboxs or PS2s or somesuch, you know, the person who likes to play games, not lose their lives pretending to be some 12th level Elvish rogue mage while cybring some hottie online. It's amazing how many dorks are on here at /. hearing "gamer" and thinking "l33t CS scripter." That is not the market here. People like me, with families and other obligations eating up vast amounts of time, but with an l33t background (yes, I once had skillz, but since have gotten pwned by 2 babies) are the market. We don't have time to screw around building systems -- we're willing to spend money to save time. We also like warrantees so we can return things when the mobo fails or the WIFI card won't work with other components.

    There are a ton of once-l33t gamers now growing into adults (gasp!) with much less time to solve component-conflicts and video driver problems. We're looking for the silver bullet solution, and willing to pay extra for it. And our numbers grow with each birth.

    • Yeah, the article clearly states that HP acknowledges the fact that half of their target "hardcore gamer market" assembles their own PC. Their estimated target market is 20 million, with 10 million that just assemble their own. Their estimation of the rest of the market is often people that are intelligent enough to do their own assembly work, but just want to play games, not muck around with assembling them.

      I've seen the machines at Best Buy, and I really don't see much to object to. They are pretty nic
  • by pknoll ( 215959 ) <<gro.hsifeparg> <ta> <kp.todhsals>> on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:29PM (#9109626)
    I think the instant you can get something from or installed by a major vendor, that thing is no longer cool.

    Isn't it the whole "I did it myself and it's different than a `normal' PC" the point?

  • You know its fast when its name has X in it. What happened to cool names.
  • Compaq previously offered (briefly, I believe) custom-built computers. I bought one from them back in 1999 or so. Two weeks in the shop, two visits from techies, and way too many hours on the phone with customer service later, it went right back to Compaq. You'd think they'd actually, oh, I dunno... test to see if any of the components they put in a custom-built machine were functioning before they sent the unit out the door.
  • $1599? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hal2814 ( 725639 ) on Monday May 10, 2004 @03:58PM (#9109943)
    Hp is "able to use our purchasing power as the world's largest consumer PC company" and they still can't put together a decent gaming system for under $1599? I can go out and make a SWEET gaming system for $1599.

    A pretty darn fantastic gaming machine can be built for aroung $800. Why can't HP use a little bit of that leverage of theirs and assemble a machine for us at this price?
  • It may be a CoolerMaster case, but I'll bet it still uses the Torx screws that Compaq PCs are infamous for.

    Chip H.

Nothing is finished until the paperwork is done.